Earth Science Week Update April 2018

American Geosciences Institute
Vol. 16, No. 4: April 2018


Contests Add Inspiration, Learning to Event

For Earth Science Week 2018, AGI is sponsoring four contests honoring this year's theme, "Earth as Inspiration." This year's competitions will feature the traditional video, photography, visual arts, and essay contests.

Teams and individuals of any age are invited to submit brief videos that tell viewers about artistic expression that stems from the natural world for the video contest, "Earth Expressions." The photography contest, also open to all ages, explores how people are "Inspired by Earth." Open to students in grades K-5, the visual arts contest is titled "Earth and Art." Finally, students in grades 6-9 are eligible to enter the essay contest, "Finding 'Art' in Earth."

For all contests, entries may be submitted any time up to the Friday of Earth Science Week, October 19, 2018. These contests allow both students and the general public to participate in the celebration, learn about Earth science, and compete for prizes. The first-place prize for each contest is $300 and a copy of AGI's "The Geoscience Handbook." Learn more about Earth Science Week Contests, including how to enter.

Celebration Highlights Report Now Online

Last year's Earth Science Week celebration was an unprecedented success. The program's visibility soared with spectacular efforts including a feature on NPR's Science Friday, exhibitions at Energy Day Festivals in Denver and Houston, and the announcement of Earth Science Education Ambassador Sally Jewell, former U.S. Secretary of the Interior.

Educators, students, geoscientists, and citizens in all 50 states and more than 16 countries held events, visited classrooms, explored outdoor sites, and took part in activities. Receiving over 633,000 page views, the program website was accessed by users in 213 nations, territories, and regions worldwide in 2017, according to Google Analytics.

Please see the Earth Science Week 2017 Highlights Report and Executive Summary for details on last year's success stories - and ideas on how you can participate this year. To continually improve Earth Science Week, AGI annually tracks the program's impact, compiles new clippings, and commissions an independent external evaluation. View the Earth Science Week 2017 Highlights Report and Executive Summary.

GSA's GeoTeachers Offer Professional Development

The Geological Society of America (GSA), a longtime Earth Science Week partner, offers K-12 professional development opportunities through its GeoTeachers Program. GeoTeachers presenters can be found at the National Association of Science Teachers' Regional and National Conferences, as well as state and local conferences. GSA's Annual Meeting is another opportunity to stay abreast with current scientific research and to sharpen teaching skills.

Check out "Geology of Arizona: The Colorado Plateau" (July 23-27) and "Geology of Colorado: Central Front Range" (July 30-August 3). These five-day workshops include field trip transportation, food, and housing. The cost is $500 for early registration. Three graduate course credits are available for $100/credit tuition. Learn more about GeoTeachers Professional Development Workshops.

NRCS Offers Resources for Soil Education

The National Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) operates an Educational Resources page featuring a treasure trove of teaching materials dealing with natural resources - including backyard conservation lesson plans, a database of standardized information about plants, and links to agricultural education sites.

For example, check out NRCS's soil education website, where teachers can dig up a treasury of resources designed for both science educators and K-12 students. Also, teachers can order the "Dig In! Hands-On Soil Investigations" book. Dig in when you're ready!

Find New Ways to Ensure 'No Child Left Inside'

Find your geoscience inspiration in the great outdoors! Any day can be "No Child Left Inside" Day - a time for outdoor activities allowing young people to experience Earth science firsthand. And the NCLI Day Guide now offers lots of learning activities to help you do just that.

This free online guide provides everything you need to start planning your own NCLI Day event, including activities designed specifically for elementary, middle, and high school students.

Begin now to plan your NCLI Day event for Tuesday, October 16, during Earth Science Week 2018, when educators and young people nationwide will be wading into creeks, climbing hills, and searching the skies to learn Earth science. Or plan your own NCLI Day whenever it's most convenient for you!

Find AGI's NCLI Day Guide on the Earth Science Week website. Have a great NCLI Day!

Partners Teach Kids About Science of Conservation

Partners in Resource Education (PRE), an Earth Science Week partner, provides programs and activities to get young people excited about the geoscience of conservation. Focusing on national resource priorities such as pollinators, wetlands, oceans, invasive species, endangered species, fire, and climate change, PRE teaches people about sustaining and safeguarding living resources in their own backyards.

PRE is a consortium of seven federal agencies: Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service, Forest Service, National Park Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and Environmental Protection Agency. By combining staffs and resources, the agencies educate young people, introduce them to natural resource careers, and cultivate the next generation of land and water stewards.

PRE's signature project, Hands on the Land, connects students, teachers, and parents to public lands and waterways. Education specialists work closely with teachers to develop programs that meet state standards and engage students in hands-on activities. Students to take part in environmental monitoring and other activities through distance learning and the project website.

View 'Why Earth Science' Online With Your Students

AGI's amazing "Why Earth Science" video is now available for free viewing online on YouTube and TeacherTube. For an exciting introduction to the geosciences, you can't do better than this six-minute clip, featuring eye-popping cinematography and computer-animation highlights from AGI's "Faces of Earth" mini-series on The Science Channel.

The video, which won a Silver Telly Award, is ideal for illustrating the importance of Earth science to not only students, but also local education decision makers who may be weighing the subject's place in the your curriculum. View the clip on YouTube or TeacherTube.

Energy Science Sparkles in Inspiring Visualizations

Looking for ways of exploring Earth science visually? You could start with the visualizations available on the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) website.

NREL offers a spectacular collection of renewable energy maps, which depict solar, wind, water, biomass and geothermal energy. In addition, the Energy Information Administration and Open Energy Information provide stunning visual representations to help students and others understand our energy use.

Celebrate This Week of Environmental Education

National Environmental Education Week (EE Week), the nation's largest environmental education event, inspires environmental learning and stewardship. The 14th annual EE Week (April 23-29, 2018) is connecting educators with environmental resources to promote K-12 students' understanding of the environment.

The environment is a compelling context for teaching STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) as it provides teachers with a diverse range of real-world challenges that engage students in meaningful hands-on opportunities to apply and reinforce STEM concepts across multiple subject areas, according to the event organizer, the National Environmental Education Foundation.

Learn more online about EE Week's Resources for Educators and Resources for Citizen Science.

Earth Science Week Photo Map Boosts Education

Last year's Earth Science Week Photo Contest invited participants to share images of the ways people affect, or are affected by, Earth systems in their local communities. Now we are proud to share many of the most striking photos in the "Earth and Human Activity Here" Photo Map!

Select entries are featured on the map, linked to the location of origin. This innovation serves as a powerful educational resource, likely to fuel discussions in classrooms and other settings. Teachers, students, and others can visit the website and view a wide variety of human interactions with the natural world.

The American Geosciences Institute is a nonprofit federation of geoscientific and professional associations that represents more than 250,000 geologists, geophysicists and other earth scientists. Founded in 1948, AGI provides information services to geoscientists, serves as a voice of shared interests in the profession, plays a major role in strengthening geoscience education, and strives to increase public awareness of the vital role the geosciences play in society's use of resources, resiliency to natural hazards, and interaction with the environment. For contact information, please visit online. To subscribe to this newsletter, visit online and submit your email address.